A sampling of my designs as well as personal stitching, and life in general.

Monday, February 28, 2011

great end to the month

Today my hubby and I received a great present - a new grandson!

Our youngest daughter had her baby at 10:41 am this morning - Feb. 28th.

Welcome Aiden!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

#10 on my January challenge was one of my designs.  It's not quite finished, life seemed to take a detour last week.  But it has gone with me to the hospital and had progress made on it.

Monday, February 21, 2011

borrowed phrase

If things are going untowardly one month, they are sure to mend the next. ~~~~ Jane Austen (1775-1817)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I'm not sure where ot start - We started off on a vacation a week ago.  Roughly 3 days into the trip, we got a call saying my mom had been admitted to the hospital.  So we change flights, etc and go home.  Within a couple of days, it was decided that Mom was officially in hospice, then I get sick.  Been an interesting week to put it mildly.

News here may be sparse over the next few days or week or whatever. 

Friday, February 11, 2011

I was just surfing and saw Orna's blog  Orna's blog  and saw a most surprising sight. 

You ned to check out  Jonathan Adler's on line shop.  Click on the NEW button and check out the needlepoint.  I wonder is this means that needlepoint will become fashionable again.  Of course it was never unfashionable to stitchers.

new photos

Yesterday was a decent weather day so I spent my time running around during necessary errands.  THe temps were well below freezing but at least the sun was out.  Part of my time was spent at one of my LNS, who graciously extened her superbowl sale due to our bad weather the day of the sale - a new 6 inches of snow.
I picked up a couple of "new to me" charts and some threads.

On the stitching front - another finish and more progress (tiny bit of progress).


Some progress on the Cranberry Santa.  I know it's not much but it is progress.

Now it's back to model stitching time.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

near finish

Today brings you a photo - Cherish, Dream, Live - it's nearly done - perhaps by the week-end.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Festival of the Broken Needles

On February 8th, all across Japan, Harikuyo will take place in Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples. Hari-kuyou is a Japanese religious practice which is said to have started in the Edo era (early 17th century). Hari means noodle, and Kuyou is a Buddhist memorial service. Memorial services are usually held for spirits of the dead but it is also common to hold them for inanimate objects that have served well in life, or indeed that life depends on. There is an old Shinto belief that inanimate objects, as well as living beings, have a soul and spirit. The animists believe that to simply discard a tool that has served you well is disrespectful would anger the object's soul.

Known as the Festival of Broken Needles, it is a ritual of thanks and respect for tools of the sewing, tailoring and embroidery trades. It dates back 1500 years; women (and men) dress in fine kimono and gather together all of the needles they've used, broken and/or and worn out during the previous year. They proceed to the local temple or shrine, where a three-tiered altar is prepared. The lower level displays sewing accessories, such as scissors, thimbles, thread and so forth. The top tier offers seasonal fruit, and white mochi (ceremonial rice cake offerings). In the center section is a large slab of tofu or konnyaku (jelly-like substance made from konnyaku potato), into which everyone plunges the pieces of their broken needles. Sticking the needles into something soft is a way of showing appreciation to the needles which have been stuck through hard substances. The needleworkers also pray for improvement in their needlework skills.

Later they will be taken to a sacred final resting place. The tofu keeps them safe and not forgotten, yet because of being protected in the tofu they can do no harm with their points. In a second sense they are still present in life. The priest will incant a sutra, that reflects the passage of the needles from use, and invokes a Buddhist blessing that is passed on to the users of the needles. By showing respect to the needles they have used through the past year, they are offering thanks and requesting that the power and energy of the needles be present in the stitchers for the coming year, so that their skills may be improved. Priests will also sing sutras to comfort the needles, heal their broken spirits and thank them for work well done. No sewing takes place on this day.

In Japan, needles became commonly used in the 14th century. At this time, needles were precious and used with especial care, which probably led to the idea of doing "kuyou" for the needles, a religious ceremony to calm the spirit and put them to rest". Although it is originally a religious practice, in present days, it is widely known as a ceremony for needleworkers to show appreciation for the needles and pray for improvement in needlework skills. These days, many kimono seamstress and needlework schools still go to the shrine to attend the Hari-kuyou ceremony. Some needleworkers show appreciation by simply not doing any needlework on that day, thereby giving their needles a holiday.

Monday, February 7, 2011

I wonder where my head was yesterday.  I just looked at my post and found so many typos -I know better than to do that.  I promise to do better in the future.

Since yesterday I talked about EGA, I thought today I would talk about ANG - American Needlepoint Guild.  I was one of the founding members of our small chapter.  ANG tends to concentrate more on canvas work but it is not limited to canvas work. 

From the main page:   ANG defines needlepoint as any counted or free stitchery worked by hand with a threaded needle on a readily countable ground.

Check out the main page of the national site for ANG:  http://www.needlepoint.org/index.php

For EGA:   http://www.egausa.org/

Each organization has it 's pros and cons and each chapter, it's own personality.  I really appreciate both of my local chapters.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

More Winter

We've had more winter again.  Another 6 inches of snow - on top of the ice from earlier.  So it was back to shoveling.  Then surprising us both, in the later afternoon, we notices some of the ice on the driveway cracking as we shoveled snow.  So for the next couple of hours and maybe half the driveway, we cracked and move ice.  Pieces that were 3-4 inches thick or should I say slabs.  My arms and shoulders are feeling it today. It definietly replaced any workout you could do at the gym!

Hopefully today will include some wonderful stitching time.

Yesterday, was supposed to be my EGA (Embrodier's Guils of America) - stitching in public day.  As hard and fast as the snow was coming down, I didn't show.  By the time the snow finally finished, it would have been long over.   Instead, I will encourage you to find a local chapter of the EGA and give them a try.  EGA explores all types of needlework.  You never know how you might like a new technique until you have tried it.

For those who care - Have a great Superbowl Day!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Icebound results

THis is what icebound gets you:

First finish of the January Challenge - Trick or Treat Kitty.  And below is an over-2 version I also started while icebound.

The second finish of the January Challenge is Cromwell the Snowman.  I did make a couple of changes - the tree is a darker green and his hat (top portion) and cuff of mittens now match his scarf.  Originally it was supposed to be Mulberry.

Besides these two, I also worked on the small Dutch Minature sampler and another model.
February 2nd is not only Groundhog's day but it is my son's birthday. When he was little, I did occasionally call him my little groundhog.  But he has far out grown that.

Towards the end of his birthday phone call (he lives several hours away), he said he had serious news.  His new unit will be heading off to Afghanistan later this year.  My son is an Army Infantry officer and though we were hoping he would be safe for a year or so, it is not to be.  So later this year he will head back into harms way again. 

Meanwhile, we tried to "de-ice" the driveway today - no luck.  The ice was not going anywhere.  Luckily we didn't need to be any where. I do wish we had gotten the snow instead of the sleet and freezing rain - it would have been so much easier to deal with.  So tomorrow we will try again to chip away at the ice.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

"The weather is frightful"

"The weather is frightful"
  We've had some freezing rain, followed by sleet (frozen rain) (still coming down) and tonight are supposed to get snow on top of that.  The closings around town have been interesting - there has been the normal schools, then the county offices, the library, the malls and some banks.  I admit I have never seen a public announcement that the courts were closed, before today.
  My county currently had an advisory out - i.e. go to work and emergencies only.  However most business have closed up and/or canceled 2nd and 3rd shifts.  I hope is that anyone who has to be out, can arrive safely.
Meanwhile, I'm content to stay home and stitch and do some more genealogy.  Hopefully photos tomorrow.